This year CAAN is continuing to provide and promote the successful Community Readiness Risk Reduction Model campaign to assist both on and off-reserve peoples address HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C (HCV) and Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections (STBBIs).
The harm to Aboriginal individuals, families and communities resulting from substance use is immense – reaching across and through families, communities and generations. There are many ways harm from drug use is experienced including the break-down of relationships and families, violence, loss of financial security, illness and disease, and death. Moreover, there is a significant and rapid rise of HCV, HIV and AIDS and STBBIs through injection drug use in Canadian Aboriginal communities – most view this as a health crisis, while some even view it as an epidemic.
Our communities need to have the capacity to respond to these issues in meaningful, culturally appropriate and community-specific ways. Most Aboriginal Peoples can agree that it is honorable and practical to work towards reducing the harms associated with substance use for individuals, families and communities. Accordingly, the CAAN has developed a training project to assess the stages of readiness of agencies/communities for undertaking valuable harm reduction initiatives and policies within their agencies/communities.
Using training materials such as CAAN’s Assessing Community Readiness and Implementing Culturally Appropriate Interventions within Aboriginal Communities Train the Trainers Facilitator Guide; Harm Reduction Implementation Guide; and the ‘Community Readiness Model’ developed by the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, the aim of this training is to build capacity among the On- and Off-reserve organizations and communities to conduct community readiness assessments and community readiness assessment training related to assessing the stages of readiness for implementing culturally-appropriate harm reduction interventions to support HCV, HIV and AIDS and STIBBIs prevention efforts.
CAAN is working to organize 4 national train-the-trainer sessions throughout the year. Monique Fong, CAAN’s Community Readiness Coordinator and Ed Bennett, Community Readiness Project Supervisor will be organizing and providing the training in the hope that Front-line Aboriginal organizations or Provincial Territorial Agencies, and/or First Nation communities will be participate in this train-the-trainer session to gain capacity and acquire resources to assess community readiness for implementing culturally-appropriate interventions in support of HCV, HIV and AIDS and STBBIs prevention efforts and to deliver the training to others to conduct this community readiness assessment work.
Community Readiness Project Coordinator
Community Readiness Project Supervisor
About the Author: Merv Thomas is the National Programs Communications Manager for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN).